Today is the last day of the 2014 CrossFit Opens; the first one I have ever participated in and definitely not the last. I honestly had no idea what to expect when I first signed up, but figured it would be a fun way to get an extra WOD in each week and also a way to meet others that I wouldn’t have met otherwise since there are tons of classes throughout the day and most people usually stick to the same time each day.

Although I didn’t know what to expect, I definitely didn’t expect to be annoyed and frustrated with CrossFit or that I’d be greeting the end of the Opens with a sigh of relief. What started out as a fun challenge that brought the community together ended in a mental battle with myself to finish out the WODs when I realized I am nowhere near as strong as I thought I was.

14.1

After 14.1, I was psyched for 14.2 because I had gotten my first double-unders and was excited to see what was next that I would accomplish out of adrenaline! I may have only finished 2 rounds while others blew past me, but I was still excited to have nailed a movement that I had been struggling with for months.

Complete as many rounds/reps as possible in 10 minutes of:
30 double-unders
55-lb. power snatches, 15 reps

14.1 double-unders

14.1 was the first time I ever got consecutive double-unders!

14.2

However, when 14.2 rolled around and I couldn’t get a single chest-to-bar (C2B) pull-up, I started feeling the frustration. I know they are a hard movement and I was a mere inch away each time, but I became frustrated with the teasing I saw via social media afterwards about how so many people would be joining the “10 Rep Club” after only being able to complete the first set of 10 overhead squats. It almost made me feel as though those people were saying that the rest of us that can’t do C2B pull-ups shouldn’t have signed up for the Open at all. It was disconcerting, but I just added C2B pull-ups to my list of things to work on and moved on.

EMOM 3 for as long as possible

From 0:00-3:00

2 rounds of:

10 overhead squats with 65lbs

10 chest-to-bar pull-ups

From 3:00-6:00

2 rounds of:

12 overhead squats with 65lbs

12 chest-to-bar pull-ups

From 6:00-9:00

2 rounds of:

14 overhead squats with 65lbs

14 chest-to-bar pull-ups

Etc., following same pattern until you fail to complete both rounds

14.3

Then 14.3 was announced and I was faced with a movement that always kills my lower back; deadlifts. My 1-rep max may be 195lbs (which is low for many, I know), but when it comes to high-reps, even at a lower weight, my back starts ceasing up almost immediately. My good friend Amy went before me and made it through 10 of the 185lb deadlifts. She’s a total beast, but we generally lift the same, so I figured I’d be able to make it to the 185lbs too. That’s where I made my mistake of comparing myself to others. I didn’t even make it through the 155lb lifts which pissed me off to no other. I know I have issues with my lower back and have been trying to work on my core strength for a while, but it still made me angry that I finished on the lower end than most others in my division. My back hurt for days afterwards which affected my regular WODs which in turn added to my frustration.

Complete as many reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
95-lb. deadlifts, 10 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
135-lb. deadlifts, 15 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
155-lb. deadlifts, 20 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
185-lb. deadlifts, 25 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
205-lb. deadlifts, 30 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
225-lb. deadlifts, 35 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch

14.4

By the time 14.4 was released, I was ready to quit the Open. It just wasn’t fun anymore and I really wasn’t looking forward to the toes-to-bar (T2B) since again, I have a weak core and I knew they would be a challenge for me. Not to mention I had found out some terrible news about a close friend the day before and my mind was preoccupied. There was a 14 minute cap for this WOD and I figured I would at least make it through part of the wall balls if not all and then some cleans since Amy had kicked ass and made it through to 10 cleans (here I was comparing myself again). I, however, struggled with the T2B for the remaining 11 minutes after the row and only managed 41 out of 50. I had a million attemtps and came close to touching the bar every time, but of course that doesn’t count in the Opens. I was angry and frustrated to say the least and ended up walking out of the gym right after the clock ran out. My back was killing me and all I could do was cry because I had secretly dedicated that WOD to my friend and couldn’t even make it through the T2B for them. It was the worst feeling ever.

Complete as many rounds and repetitions as possible in 14 minutes of:
60-calorie row
50 toes-to-bars
40 wall-ball shots, 14 lb. to 9-foot target
30 cleans, 95 lb.
20 muscle-ups

14.5

When I saw the release of 14.5, I thought “OK, this looks too easy to be the last WOD of the Opens…” and boy was I right. My friend Amy and I both ended up being in Savannah, GA at the same time for two totally different reasons, so we met up at a local  box Friday morning to do 14.5. She went first and killed it in just 19:19! I was blown away by how awesome she did and based off our previous WODs together, was aiming for a sub 23 minute completion time for myself. We ran out of time that morning for me to complete it, so I ended up going to Rockville CrossFit Sunday morning instead. I don’t know if it was the fact that I had only eaten a banana beforehand or that I was just so mentally over the Opens, but I struggled with this WOD more than any other I’ve done to date. I was so dizzy after just the first round and kept wondering to myself how I was going to complete this WOD. I kept having to stop to catch my breath and regain my balance. Each break I took became longer and longer until I finally sat down and told my judge I was giving up. Thankfully he believed in me enough to keep pushing me to get up and finish the WOD. Everyone else was already done, so all they had left to do was stare at me and wait until I was done which made it even harder because I hate when people watch me, even if they are cheering me on. I finally finished after 31:25 and thought I was going to hurl for a good 30 minutes after. I know I can do sub 23 minutes, but will not be attempting that anytime soon.

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
65-lb. thrusters
Burpees

14.5 thrusters and burpees

 

Although I’m grumpy about how I did in the Opens this year, I’m glad that not only did I do it, but that I completed it as well despite how badly I wanted to quit. I now have a laundry list of things to work on for next year, but at the top of that list is to go back to enjoying CrossFit and competing with no one but myself.

Did you complete the Open? Were you happy with how you did?

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Whole30: Final Results

Posted: February 5, 2014 in Whole30 Challenge
Tags:

Alright guys, the verdict is in! I weighed myself, took my measurements, and took photos yesterday. I was honestly expecting a little more weight loss and inches lost, but am still happy with the results and can’t wait for the next Whole30 Challenge!

Weight

I started off at 155.2lbs and ended up at 149.2! I ended up seeing the 140s after all!

Measurements (before, after)

  • Arm (left) – 13″, 12.5″
  • Arm (right) – 13″, 13″
  • Bust – 36.25″, 35.75″
  • Waist – 29″, 28.25″
  • Hips – 36.25″, 35.5″
  • Bum – 38″, 38″ (phew!)
  • Thigh (right) – 24.5″, 24.5″
  • Thigh (left) – 24″, 24″

I saw most changes in my mid-section which is fine by me.

Photo Evidence

Ugh, I hate posting photos, especially where I look bad, but I noticed a lot of progress that I’m proud of and want to encourage you guys to try the Whole30, so here you go. If you can’t tell, before photos are on the left, after photos on the right.

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Whole30: Day 30

Posted: February 3, 2014 in Whole30 Challenge
Tags:

Well, guys. I made it. I made it to day 30 and am absolutely baffled. I truly thought I would fail and give up less than a week in, but I stuck it out.

Obviously I didn’t blog last week which I’m a little bummed about, but shit got real busy and I just had no energy left at the end of the day. I honestly struggled to stay on track the last week due to the stress of being so busy. Stress is my main trigger and all I want to do is eat. I did end up snacking a little more than I should’ve some days, but at least they were still Whole30 friendly foods.

I’m going to take a week to de-load, maybe enjoy a couple treats, and then jump right into my second Whole30.

As for results, I’m not sure yet, I need to take my pics and measurements tomorrow morning. I’ve been weighing myself periodically throughout and have dropped 5lbs. I’d really like to see the 140s and after dropping those 5lbs the first week, I sat at 150.2 for the remainder of the time. My body was just trying to fucking torment me. Well, it didn’t work! However, I do hope to see the scale budge some during the next go, but it’s by no means my only measurement system. My jeans are fitting much looser and I actually fit into a size 4 the other day although it was pretty snug. Still! I don’t know if I’ve ever fit into a size 4! Oh, and I just PR’d my back squat and front squat, but that could be because I did the Wendler program too. Not to mention I just feel all around better; happier, less mood swings, less tired, more energy, lighter… so yeah.

Be back tomorrow with my progress!

Whole30: Day 21

Posted: January 26, 2014 in Whole30 Challenge
Tags: , , ,

So I woke up this morning at six freakin’ thirty to turn off the crock-pot and get to cooking my other meals. I was so exhausted last night that I’m surprised I woke up that early, but I guess I did get 8 hours of sleep since I crashed at 10pm…

On the menu this week:

So as I was digging through my closet for something to wear to work today, I found this dress that I wore to a wedding about 3 years ago. I unfortunately haven’t been able to zip it up for the last couple of years because I, well, gained about 20 pounds back in 2010 (or 2011, I can’t remember) due to not being able to workout for a year because of a leg injury which I may get into at some other point, but not now. Anyway, I was using the dress about a year ago to gauge my weight-loss, but I just never really lost any weight and ended up forgetting about the dress. When I saw it, I figured I’d try it on for shits and giggles thinking it wouldn’t zip up or that I’d feel like a freakin’ sausage.

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It’s still a little snug, but it zipped up pretty easily and I didn’t feel like I was going to pop at the seams!! Woohoo! I can’t wait to wear this baby out sometime this summer (if it’s not too big 😉 ).

Before work, I went to the local globo-gym and finished off week 3 of the Wendler Program with back squats and bench press. Next week should be a low-weight week, so we’ll see if my 1 rep max’s increase after that! I’m excited but a little nervous that I won’t see any progress :/

What should hopefully help is that I finally caved and purchased a pair of hybrid oly/crossfit shoes that supposedly help you feel more stable during oly lifts. I can’t wait to get them and am hoping they arrive before next week as I’m competing in the Team Grit competition in Newport News, VA!!

inov-8 fast lifter

Whole30: Day 20

Posted: January 25, 2014 in Whole30 Challenge
Tags: ,

I’m 2/3 of the way done with my first Whole30 Challenge!! I honestly did not think I’d make it this far which is kind of sad, but I really just do not have that great of will power. It’s of course something I’ve always wanted to work on and this has been a really good challenge.

I started off my morning with the Saturday WOD. These ones always scare me a little just because they’re so much harder than the weekday ones, but I honestly need the challenge and am always excited to do them.

crossfit adaptation saturday wod

After the gym, I headed straight for the grocery store. Usually I go to BJ’s Wholesale, but realized I forgot my damn member card. So annoying! So I headed to Harris Teeter instead. After getting my produce, I headed to the meat section and was totally grossed out by the name brand selections. I usually buy from the meat counter where they have more organic options, but unfortunately they weren’t open that early. I’ve seen way too many documentaries on the food industry to never want to eat any meat from the large name brand companies ever. After giving up in frustration, I bought my produce and headed to Whole Foods to grab my meats. Only 3 lbs of sausage, a pack of chicken breasts, and 2 packs of chicken thighs cost me almost $70!! As much as I want to always buy organic, free range, grass fed meats, I just can’t afford that right now. I honestly don’t see how anyone can afford that all the time, especially living in DC. And I have 2 jobs!!

grocery haul

Breakfast: Paleo chicken pot pie

paleo chicken pot pie

Snack: Homemade beef jerky and a couple apple slices

Snack: Larabar

peanut butter cookie larabar

Lunch: Paleo chicken pot pie and rest of the apple from earlier with almond butter

paleo chicken pot pie

(Can you tell I’m trying to eat up the last of last weeks meal prep??)

And after an already long day, I of course had to prep what I could to make my cooking in the morning just a little bit easier.

What foods do you decide to spend extra money on? What do you wish you could, but just can’t afford or find?

Whole30: Day 19

Posted: January 24, 2014 in Whole30 Challenge
Tags: ,

I can’t believe it’s already the end of the week. Since we had Monday off and I worked from home on Wednesday due to the cold/snow, it feels like it’s only Wednesday. Not to mention working 7 days a week really throws me off…

Last night I pulled out my favorite (and only) paleo cookbooks to thumb through and plan out my menu for next week. I know it seems premature to be planning for next week, but honestly, my weekends are just as busy as my weekdays since I work 7 days a week. I’m trying to get in the habit of planning my menu throughout the week, grocery shopping Friday night or Saturday morning, prepping what I can Saturday night, then cooking Sunday morning. It’s a pain in the ass, but if I didn’t plan, I know I would fall off the wagon in a heartbeat.

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I spent a lot of time reading these cookbooks before buying to make sure I would actually use them, so I love them all for different reasons. I’ve also heard a lot of great things about the Well Fed cookbooks, so I’m excited to add those to my collection in the future. However, my favorite cookbook so far has been Paleo Slow Cooking. I’ve made a handful of recipes from this book and the ingredient lists are always so simple, but everything turns out so flavorful. Plus, I love that I can just toss everything into the crock-pot and it’s done when I get home from work or wake up in the morning. To make life a little easier, I’m going to start planning 1 crock-pot meal a week into my menu so that I can eliminate that cooking time from my already crazy Sunday mornings.

In other cooking news, I made my own almond milk and beef jerky! I can’t seem to find a Whole30 compliant brand of either, so I decided to give it a whirl and make my own. The almond milk was extremely easy, I’ll post my “how to” soon. The beef jerky was OK, it never fully dried out, so I’m going to attempt it again and hopefully have a recipe up soon for you guys.

So there are a couple reasons I have a second job… the main reason is that I have a shit load of student loans (seriously, it’s insane) and I really want to start making a dent in them. I figured I’m single, I don’t have any kids, and the weather is shitty here in DC during the winter, so why not work an extra job on the weekends for extra money. Oh, the other reason is because I’m a shopaholic and may have some credit card debts thrown in there too. It’s not bad, but I just don’t like having it. Anyway, there are some things I’ve really been wanting lately (and a few things I need, but they feel frivolous), so I made a list so that I could start saving for them. I laughed when I was done writing it out. A year ago it would’ve been more along the lines of clothes, shoes, and travel. Now it’s mostly CrossFit gear. At the top of my list is the weightlifting shoes, but they’re just too damn expensive right now. 😦

shopping list

OK, enough yapping, sorry!

This mornings WOD looked easy, but not so much. At least not for me. I’ve started doing strict handstand pushups with 2 ab mats, but the coach wanted us to go full depth, so I did them from my knees using a box. I hate doing them that way because they’re way too easy, but being on my toes is too hard. I don’t get it. I also hate hollow rocks and can never seem to do many at a time. It just wasn’t fun.

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Breakfast: 2 servings of caramelized onion frittata and a small banana

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Snack: Larabar and a pack of Krave jerky

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Lunch: The last of my spaghetti pizza pie 😦

Snack: 1/2 Whole pack of dried mango from Whole Foods

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Yeeeeeah. I went to Whole Foods to pick up a jar of Tessamae’s BBQ sauce and grabbed a pack of dried mango too. It didn’t even taste very good honestly, but I think I just zoned out and kept eating and ended up with the worst stomach ache.

Dinner: The last of my spaghetti pizza pie

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When I got home from work, I spent the evening narrowing down my meal plan and writing out my grocery list. I didn’t check sales prices like I had wanted to, I was just too damn tired to bother.

What are some of your favorite cookbooks or blogs to get recipes from? What’s on your list of things you’d like to buy?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whole30: Day 18

Posted: January 23, 2014 in Whole30 Challenge
Tags: ,

I’ve honestly really enjoyed the Whole30 Challenge so far. I ain’t gonna lie, it was hard the first couple of days, but once I started feeling really good (physically and mentally) and found some amazing paleo recipes that I really loved, it started getting easier and easier. I have no doubt that I will make it to 30 days with little to no problems and that I’ll continue on afterwards.

However, I find that I am still having some mental battles with certain foods. For instance, I can see a box of bagels or donuts and although they look/smell amazing, I don’t physically want them (that much). I know they’ll taste good, but now I automatically think of how sick I’ll feel afterwards or how guilty I’ll feel that I just spent all this time detoxing my body from this junk and all it took was one time to put it back in and that I have to start all over again.

What’s kind of crazy to me, but refreshing, is that I really want just want a bowl of banana soft serve with a couple chocolate chips or this amazing chocolate avocado mousse I like to make. They’re healthier, paleo treats and that’s what I want over donuts or candy. It’s just amazing to me that my cravings have already changed so dramatically in just a few weeks. My only hope is that the mental cravings don’t overpower me when I’m done with the Whole30 and I start eating the bad stuff again just because my mind wants it and then those physical addictions come back.

Breakfast: Caramelized onion frittata and a small banana

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Snack: Larabar and a small handful of pistachios

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Lunch: Spaghetti pizza pie and steamed brussels sprouts

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Snack: 3 clementines and a small handful of pistachios

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Dinner: Paleo chicken pot pie

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Have you done the Whole30 Challenge? How did you find that your cravings changed if at all?